One day, i was sitting in church during a sermon, when an elderly woman behind me kept peeping over my shoulders. Originally, I thought i was blocking her from seeing the pulpit. Her actions were becoming a distraction and I began to feel uncomfortable. So I turned to the side to give her a better view. However, i then realized that she was more concerned about my hands; as my hands became the center of her fascination. With curious eyes i stared at her. With outstretched hands she lightly patted my shoulders and whispered in my ear, “Wow! Can i see your engagement ring?” It was an awkward moment because I knew i wasnt wearing a ring. I wasnt even dating yet alone engaged.
Since i have started a new page, everyone wants to know when i am getting married? I can not count the amount of persons i have disappointed since i am not able to provide the answers they are seeking. Now my parents are debating on when they are getting grandchildren. Even my siblings are already awaiting the title of ‘uncle’. They have not made it easy since everyone is now singing the same tune that i am not getting younger.It would seem like i am not living a productive life.
As a single woman over thirty, i never knew that so much pressure would be placed on me to get married and have children. You should hear some of the comments people make as if it is not hard enough to meet the right person. “When i was your age, i had a husband and three children already,” chimed my nosy neighbour. I can remember wishing my godmother ‘Happy Mother’s Day ‘ recently and she gingerly responded, “When will I return the sentiment?”
I often wondered if men feel this immense pressure too. Do they feel like they are a burden to their parents because they are not married? Has it ever crossed their minds that they are getting older and they are running out of time? Are they being constantly told by family members and friends that they are not a ‘real man’ because they have not ventured into the next journey of life called ‘marriage’? Most importantly, is it a dire need for them to have children to carry on the family name?
In your journey of singleness, no one bothers to mention that it can be fulfilling. There are hardly people around to share how contented, peaceful and free they are in this phase of self discovery and self-improvement. No one tells of how satisfying it is to serve God and help others in this period. In fact, ‘Singleness’ and ‘loneliness’ are two words that a few of my friends would consider as members of the same family. As a result, i never get the impression from them that being single was ever a blessing.
When you are single very few people see your life as purposeful and happy. In my recollection, the term ‘Happily ever after’ never describes just the life of a single individual. The term usually comes at the end of a fairy tale, a good movie or even at the end of a wedding when the couple starts their journey together. There are so many people in this world who will never get married. Would it be fair to say that these persons will only experience “happily ever after’ only if they are married?
-Daneika K. Brackett (D.K.B)
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